The pope was his co-pilot

Below, John Paul checks out the cockpit on Shepherd I during his first trip to the United States in 1979.

One of the pilots for that trip, Nelson Krueger, has published a charming gallery of photos from that trip — which includes a shot of a guitar that the pope used to play “Silent Night” one evening. Check it out.


  1. Very cool! Wow how time flies! I was 18 years old in 1979 and even though I was aware of the new young Pope, I was too immersed in disco music back then. Now am 50 and I feel the weight of time, but John Paul II has left me with an indelible blessing and I feel a connection to him. Now am in a deacon formation program.

  2. Nelson Krueger says:

    What a privilege to be one of the pilots on Shepherd One. Thank you for posting and thoughtful comments. Nelson Krueger

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